I find it quite shameful that a blog post like this even has to be written, but honesty in business is, to me, one of the most important characteristics. Some businesses have reputations for dishonesty, and they tend to center around necessities.
Who has that reputation? Auto mechanics, car dealers, plumbers, HVAC repair people, and many others. Obviously, it isn’t everyone in those industries, but reputations don’t form in a vacuum. I’ve taken my cars to the same mechanic for over a decade because I trust his business. Does he make mistakes? Sure, he does from time to time, but he owns the mistakes.
How important is that? When you find an auto mechanic, plumber, or car dealer you trust, you stay with them. It’s just good business. And on top of that, consider the law of attraction which says, in part, that like attracts like. Honest people like to work with other honest people.
It’s not just a question of trying to sell something the customer doesn’t need. There’s also quoting one figure and billing another, or missing promised deadlines. Representing yourself honestly boils down to doing what you say you’re going to do. My clients have deadlines of their own; I never want to be the one responsible for them missing a deadline.